A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Can you buy an entire chess set in a pawn shop?” (5/23)
“I passed my physical exam! But I only got a C in Hepatitis” (5/23)
“I like to play chess with old men in the park…although it’s hard to find 32 of them” (5/23)
“I like to play chess with old men in the park…although it’s hard to find 32 of them” (5/23)
“Some people say I have a bad attitude. I say screw them!” (5/23)
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Entry from June 22, 2011
“Comedy is tragedy plus time” (theatre adage)

Entry in progress—B.P.

21 July 1958, Bakersfield (CA) Californian, pg. 21, col. 1:
Allen (Comedian Steve Allen—ed.) also has another formula for laughs: “Tragedy plus time plus the will to be amused equals comedy. If you don’t have the will to laugh, you won’t be amused—whether it’s by a Chaplin or anyone like him.”

23 November 1962, Salisbury (MD) Times, pg. 23, col. 3:
“They say that comedy is tragedy plus time. After getting the bills, I believe it.”
(Comedian Bob Newhart—ed.)

Google Books
Show: The Magazine of the Arts
Volume 3
1963
Pg. 116:
To her (Carol Burnett—ed.), “Comedy is tragedy mellowed by time.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Wednesday, June 22, 2011 • Permalink